Monodelphis domestica, (WAGNER, 1842)

Pavan, Silvia Eliza, Rossi, Rogerio Vieira & Schneider, Horacio, 2012, Species diversity in the Monodelphis brevicaudata complex (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) inferred from molecular and morphological data, with the description of a new species, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 165 (1), pp. 190-223 : 211-212

publication ID 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2011.00791.x

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Monodelphis domestica



Our molecular analyses showed a close proximity between M. domestica and the remaining species of the M. brevicaudata complex, supporting the recent inclusion of this species in the complex by Solari (2010). Monodelphis domestica differs from the remaining analysed species of the M. brevicaudata complex by the relatively larger size and the dorsal fur entirely grey, without orange or reddish flanks. Owing to the external similarities between M. domestica and the specimens of M. glirina from the eastern bank of the Xingu river (which exhibit upperparts greyish), we provide external and cranial comparisons between these two forms.

Externally, M. domestica has smaller, narrower, and more whitish feet, with paler dorsal scales covered with white (versus cream or greyish) hairs. Caudal scales are also lighter in M. domestica , mainly ventrally, and caudal hairs are more visible without magnification, giving a hairy aspect to the tail. In M. domestica , the mid-dorsum is grey and the laterals are also grey or tend to be yellowish, whereas in M. glirina the general colour is darker, with middorsum grey or dark grey and the laterals tending to light orange. In M. domestica , there is a yellowish circumocular area that contrasts with the blackish eyelids. In M. glirina , the circumocular area is greyish and does not contrast with the eyelids. Additionally, we found seven mammae in M. domestica (specimens LZUFPI 158, MPEG 34994), but nine in M. glirina (specimens MPEG 1318, 10134, 38985).

Cranially, M. domestica is generally larger. The interorbital region is narrower and more pronounced, which is readily seen in dorsal view; the rostrum is proportionally shorter; the maxillopalatine fenestrae are broader; the posterolateral palatal foramen is larger; and the palatal region is slightly more expanded backward.

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